Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Breaking 100...

I finally broke 100… Last weekend I played on a regulation course for the 11th time (not counting the one day that I played Battleground and did not finish because it got dark) and I had a great day on the links. A great day indeed. I shot a 94 at Bayou Golf Course - smashing through the 100 barrier!!!

A Round to Remember

The weather could not have been better. I showed up a bit early so I could hit the range and see if I had (in my mind) figured out why I had been slicing my drives again. By the bottom of the bucket, I was hitting nice and solid with my irons, my hybrid was a little unpredictable but occasionally solid, and my drives were mostly effortless draws that had me grinning from ear to ear.

As I walked up to the clubhouse to pay my $7 greensfee, I passed by two gentlemen walking out to the first tee. That’s right, walking!!! I put on some hustle in hopes of catching them before they tee off. I sure didn’t want to be paired up with some folks in carts because I’m always rushing to keep up. I managed to make it to the tee box and they invited me to join them. Sa-weet!!!

Tough Start

My heart was pumping a bit from hustling from the clubhouse and these guys (John and Robi) had already hit their drives so I pulled out the big stick and teed up. I kind of wanted to take a moment to catch my breath, but I figured I was hitting beautifully at the range, just grip it and rip it. And I did… I lined up to favor the right because water lines the entire length of the hole. (1) - I ended up mildly slicing the ball off the fairway. Not too bad, just over the cart path. (2) - I shanked my next shot but managed to get back across the cart path and onto the fairway, but behind some small trees. I had to fire a shot toward the water and I was still 200+ out. I figured a 7i would put me in a good position to attack the green. (3) - Of course this ends up being one of those times when I nail the sweet spot and my ball has just enough energy to roll into the water. I suppose now would be a good time to mention that one of my strategies for this round was to KEEP THE BALL IN PLAY!!! (5) – My approach shot falls just short. Add a chip and two putts (6,7,8) and I feel my chances of breaking 100 slipping away – in the same fashion that my third shot did.

I pulled things together and scored a bogey on the next hole.

Heaven in a Hybrid

The third was the absolute best golf of my life. It’s a par 4 dogleg left with water all along the left side. You have the option of playing straight or trying to cut the corner a bit. The risk of course is you have to hit about 180 to carry the water. John and Robi hit their shots to the right of the fairway amid some trees. I decided to go for it and landed a sweet drive in the fairway about 185 out from the pin. I made it to my ball and thought hard about what to hit. I knew this shot would set the tone for the rest of the round. I could play it safe and hit a 7i and go for bogey (a perfectly good plan when trying to break 100), or I could try my new hybrid and go for the green. Well, I chose the latter and dropped the shot on the green about 15 feet from the pin!!! I jumped in the air several times in absolute amazement – I was so excited!!! A GIR from 185!!! I two putted the hole for a par and walked off the green with a smile that would last for hours (days, weeks???).

From there I shot bogey, double (on a par 3), double, par (on a par 3), bogey, and double (lost one in the water). For those keeping track, that gives me 48 on the front – right in step to break 100!!!

The Back Nine

I shanked my tee shot on the tenth, but since it was a par 5, I just figure I hit my third shot first. The second shot was fair. My third shot missed the green to the right. I shanked my wedge but landed on the green but 40 – 50 feet from the pin. I aimed the putt about 5 feet to the left and hit it easy, as this was a downhill shot. The ball rolled like it was on rails at what seemed an agonizingly slow speed until it dropped in the hole. I got some nice comments on the par and my grin was beginning really coming into it’s own – muscle memory setting in ;)

Solid Golf

The next few went bogey, bogey, bogey, double (after losing a ball in the water). The 15th is a par 5 where I hit my third shot 220+ yards on to the green!!! A cold front had just passed and the wind was picking up. My tee shot was good, but my second shot was topped and only went about 20 yards. After my third shot I stood there somewhat stunned as I looked at the ball way up there sitting on the green. I wanted to pinch myself. I left myself with a long putt and managed to get it to about five feet. Then I missed the short putt and carded a three-putt bogey. Disappointed but still grinning from ear to ear, I pressed on and bogeyed the 16th. The wind was really picking up and we teed off the 17th into the wind on a dogleg left with water on the right after the turn. John and Robi hit great shots, but I sliced mine off to the right – lengthening the hole. I topped the second shot, regained my composure and belted one right up to the left of the green, pin high from about 200 yards out. Two putts and another bogey bring my score on the back to 40.


The 18th is a short par 4 of 330 yards with water stretching the length of the hole on both sides. The wind was a steady 20-25 mph crosswind from left to right. John hit a safe drive to the right side of the fairway, landing near the water. Robi hit a similar shot a little closer to the center of the fairway. I’m up. I have eleven strokes to realize my goal. I thought for a moment about hitting a 6i twice but in the end I grabbed the driver. Lord let me draw this shot… Smmmmaaackkk… A sweet draw up the left side landing about 140 out on the right side of the fairway. Thank you Lord. I pulled the 7i and lined up well left of the green since I knew the wind would push me toward the green. Smmmmaaackkk… No No No!!! I pulled the shot left and watched as the ball screamed out toward the water on the left side… and then slow… and then stop it’s movement, hanging out over the water… and then start back… Come on… Come on… and then drop on the fairway to the left and short of the green. Thank you Lord. I didn’t have the best lie, I had to hit over a bunker, and the pin was tucked up close to the bunker on the elevated green. I have a hard time with my sand wegde off of a poor lie, but there is no way I could stop the ball on the green with my pitching wedge. A poor shot fell just short of the bunker but with a better lie. A second chip and two putts later and the 100 barrier was smashed with a 94!!!!!

What a day. I managed a 94 after losing three balls and missing two short putts. Wow what a feeling. Next stop: Breaking 90!!! I can’t wait :D :D :D

Still grinnin’,
-Greg (clmax)


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